Monday, March 8, 2010

Hubble 3D—The Final Cut

A few months ago, I enthusiastically reported that I thought the IMAX feature HUBBLE 3D would allow theater-goers to claim a piece of the telescope for themselves and get a glimpse into a world that they would not otherwise experience. Tonight I was able to view the final cut of the documentary and while it was still exciting and my statement proved to be be an accurate assessment, some of the promise held in the raw footage was unfortunately lost during editing. The shuttle launch still fills you with anticipation; the crew's excitement is still palpable; the images from HUBBLE are still breathtaking; and the repairs to the telescope still capture your imagination. However, serious science buffs may feel that the documentary comes up a bit short. As one audience member commented at the end, "It didn't tell me anything new."

The film does provide a cosmic adventure—though some may find it better suited for a grade school science class than a mature audience. While I can agree with this evaluation, I think it's probably a good introduction for the general public to HUBBLE and space exploration. It does a lot in terms of making science accessible to the public at large by opening doors that have been previously unreachable. I mean, when's the next time you're going to get to tag along as astronauts perform repairs on an important scientific instrument in space? If you think it might be awhile, then you might want to grab the family and check out HUBBLE 3D

If anyone does check it out (release date: March 19th), I'd love to hear your perspective—particularly in the vein of whether this is an appropriate tool/medium for giving science public exposure.

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